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China: Around The Nation

Chinese taxi-driver single mother takes toddler to work every night ... for three years

Parent says she cannot afford to leave her young child with a babysitter at home while she works in the early hours

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 3:47pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 3:47pm

A single mother in central China has taken her toddler daughter to work on her job as a night-shift taxi driver for nearly three years.

Li Shaoyun, 42, and her daughter Yiyi, who turns three soon, have spent more than 900 nights together in Li’s cab in Wuhan, Hubei province, the Chutian Metropolis Daily reported on Wednesday.

Li said she takes Yiyi to work as she cannot afford a babysitter.

Li picks up her taxi at dusk from a colleague who works the day shift, and drives until about 5am. She pays 100 yuan (US$15) a day to rent the cab and another 100 yuan for petrol.

Yiyi usually sits on the front passenger seat, but does go in the back when necessary.

Some passengers decide not to get in her cab when they see a child in it, the report quoted Li as saying.

Yiyi usually falls asleep at about 1am and before she sleeps, she often asks her mother to stop working and to return home early, the report said.

Li said she told her daughter: “Mummy hasn’t earned enough money. Without money, how can she buy good food for Yiyi?”

Internet users were touched by the pair’s story.

One reader wrote: “People with children can all understand this mother’s hardship. Best wishes to them.”

Another said: “Feel sad, but it’s really not safe for the girl.”